Cedric Moves On

by Tim Mead



Chapter 7:

The End of the Drought

 



Who seduced whom?  That was the question.  Or, rather, a question.  For that matter, had seduction been involved?  As they say, you can't seduce the willing.

Cedric had assumed from their first meeting that Jay was gay.  God!  Wonder if he's had to put up with the rhyme all his life?

Admittedly, he'd made the assumption on little evidence.  Jay hadn't, on first meeting, done anything overtly gay.  He certainly wasn't a flamer.  But somehow, riding up in the elevator that first time, Cedric had known.

Was it because Jay, apparently single, was living in this building which was largely, though not exclusively, tenanted by gay people?  If so, Cedric's inner lawyer reminded him, he was guilty of jumping to a conclusion.  Or perhaps post hoc reasoning.  Yet he'd thought several times about Jay, about getting to know him better . . . about having sex with him.  Gaydar?  Perhaps.  Wishful thinking?  More likely.

Still, when he made that suggestive comment in the restaurant, he surprised himself with his directness.  Fortunately, he was right, and Jay wasn't offended.

Thus throughout the meal, Cedric had watched the man across from him with increasing lust.  He'd had to be careful, forcing himself to hold up his end of the conversation.  But it had been Jay who'd raised the question again after they had come home and finished their dessert.


Once they moved to the bedroom, there had been an awkward moment.  It might have been appropriate to kiss, but to Cedric kissing was special, perhaps more intimate than fucking, something for . . . well, so far he'd only had sexual kisses with Francis and Tim.  And those with Francis had been largely experimental.

Jay took care of the problem.  After a moment's hesitation, he pushed matters along by dropping to his knees and nuzzling Cedric's swollen bulge through his jeans.

"I've been looking forward to this.  I've never sucked a black cock before."

"You mean African-American?"

Jay used his teeth to gently bite the member in question.  "No, Ced.  My cock is black, too.  In case you hadn't noticed, my skin is as dark as yours.  But I've only had sex with white guys."

Cedric grinned and pulled off his shirt.  "So you're just lookin' to satisfy your curiosity?"

"No, man!  I really want to suck this beauty!"

The awkwardness over, they quickly undressed.  Jay, though thin, had nicely-delineated muscles.  His small body had none of the coltishness of a teen.  He was graceful as he threw back the duvet and top sheet before pulling Cedric onto the bed with him.

After some initial exploration they settled into the side-by-side 69 position.

Jay obviously knew what he was doing.  Nor had Cedric forgotten what it was all about.

It's like swimming:  once you're in the water you just do it.  Except this was much nicer than swimming.


Afterwards, Jay went to the en suite bathroom and brought back a warm, damp washcloth with which he cleaned Cedric.   When he returned from his second trip to the bathroom, he asked, "Ced, would you just hold me for a while?"

Cedric, who'd been sitting on the edge of the bed wondering if he should leave, lay back and opened his arms.  Jay got in bed beside him and snuggled close.

"Thanks, Ced."

"Thank you.  You know how to make a guy feel great."

"You, too!"

A few minutes later, Jay said, "This is so nice."

Cedric felt a warm puff of air as the other man's lips moved against his nipple.

"Yeah."

It had been much too long.


He awoke to find Jay snoring softly, still in his arms, one of which had gone to sleep.  The light was still on.  The bedside clock said 1:14.  He got up, being careful not to wake Jay.  He shook his arm to restore the circulation.  He put on his clothes, covered his sleeping friend, turned off the light, and went to the kitchen.  On the counter he found a pad and a pencil.  The pad was pale green with a paisley border at the top.  Cedric chuckled.  Jay's sister at work again, he suspected.  

He wrote a note thanking Jay and saying he'd call.  Leaving it in plain sight on the counter, he turned off the lights and let himself out, making sure the door latched behind him.


Now he lay languidly in bed, thinking back over the previous evening.  Jay was good to be with, in or out of bed.  Cedric wondered how soon they could have sex again.

Careful, boy.  They say a starving person who tries to eat too much too soon will get sick.  Can you have a surfeit of sex?

He wasn't sure about that.  But his cock was hard, so he grabbed it, thinking of Jay's tidy body and talented mouth.


It was a Saturday, so he spent the morning doing grocery shopping and getting a haircut.  After lunch he decided it wasn't too soon to call Jay.  Although he didn't want to come across as overly eager, the weekend ahead seemed long, and companionship would be good.  Besides, he couldn't wait to explore Jay's cute little butt.

"Hello?"

"Jay!"

"Oh, Cedric, hi!  I'm relieved you called.  I was surprised when I woke up and you were gone."

"Well, we hadn't talked about it, and I didn't know whether you expected me to sleep over or not.  Didn't want to wear out my welcome."

Jay laughed.  "No fear of that.  And thanks.  Last night was amazing!"

Cedric could imagine Tim's comments on the frequency with which people abused amazing these days.

"So, man, what are you doing today?"

"Oh!  I'm going to the football game this afternoon.  A couple of the women I work with got tickets and invited me along."

"Oh."  Cedric tried to keep his voice from showing his disappointment.  "Well, have fun.  Go Cougars!"

"I wish you could come with us, but I think they're saving their only extra ticket for me."

"No, you go ahead and have fun.  We'll get together again soon."

"Yeah, I hope so!"

They said their goodbyes, and Cedric ended the call.  Then, after a moment's thought, he punched in a number on speed dial.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Angel!"

"Cedric!  How are you, baby?  Is anything wrong?"

"Does anything have to be wrong for me to call my favorite person in the world?"

His mother chuckled.  "You've been good about emailing your father and me, but, child, this is the first time I've heard your voice since Labor Day!  Besides, you're old enough you should be finding someone else to be your favorite person.  Not that it isn't good to hear from you.  So why are you calling?"

"I thought I might just jump in the car and come see you and Dad."

"You mean now?"

"Uh huh."

"Oh, honey, your father and I are going to hear the Orchestra tonight.  And the Saturday concerts at Severance are always sold out, so you can't come with us.  And tomorrow morning Jake and I will be going to church."

"I'd forgotten this might be one of your orchestra nights."

"You know, you could come and have a visit with us this afternoon.  Why don't you give Tim and Max a call and see if they're going to be home this evening?  You really ought to show them there are no hard feelings.  You all could get caught up.  And then you could come back here overnight and go to church with us in the morning."

"Uh, no, Mama, I think I'll just come some other weekend.  So how are you and Dad?  Are things okay?"

"Yes, baby.  We're fine.  And we'll expect you to come home for a weekend soon.  This is still your home, you know.  You can come anytime.  But if you'll give us a little more notice, we can be sure to be here."

"Right!  I'll do that.  Give my love to Dad."

They said goodbye, and he put down the phone.

It's gonna be a long afternoon, he thought.

But it doesn't have to be.  Get out and do something!

He remembered that he'd intended to visit the Toledo Museum of Art.  He'd never been there and had been told it was worth the time.  He knew of their famous glass collection, but didn't know what else they had.  

So he went to the car, used the GPS for directions to the Museum, and took off.

It wasn't a long trip.  He picked up a map of the galleries inside the entrance and then decided just to wander.  There were the usual classics, the Impressionists, the Dutch, including Rembrandt, paintings by major artists, things he hadn't expected to find in Toledo.  

You're being smug.  The Cleveland Museum is one of the best kept secrets in the country, but it's obviously not the only fine collection in Ohio.  You should see what makes this one unique.  Well, duh!  You've heard of the glass collection, so go find it.

It was in the appropriately-named "Glass Pavilion."  Toledo had been the home of the Libbey Company since 1888.  The Museum's collection contained many examples of Libbey glass from over the years, but it wasn't limited to that.

Cedric was fascinated, losing himself in the many designs, shapes, and colors of the exhibit, which varied from utilitarian pieces to art glass.

At one point he was looking at a large nineteenth-century cut glass punch bowl on a matching pedestal.  Although it sparkled in the light, it struck Cedric as being overdone.  He realized that the many surfaces caught and reflected or refracted the light.  
But still . . . .

"The Victorians didn't know when to quit, did they?"

Cedric had been so caught up by the display that he hadn't noticed the man standing beside him.  But he did now.

Perhaps in his mid thirties, the man was about 6'5" tall, with black hair, wonderful brown eyes, and a mustache.  He looked very much like pictures Tim had shown him of Ernest Hemingway at the same age.  He was wearing a camel-colored pullover sweater, faded jeans, and sneakers.  

There was a hitch in Cedric's breath and his heart beat speeded up as he struggled to reply.

"Uh, yeah.  I think that's a bit much.  And I tend to agree about the Victorians."

The guy smiled, nodded, and moved on.  Cedric's eyes didn't stray from the muscular buttocks moving under the jeans until they were out of sight.

Then he moved on to a display of more recent glass.

As he drove home, he wasn't so much thinking about the museum and its displays, though he had resolved to go back again soon, but about the Hemingway look-alike.  Oh, Papa!



When he got to the apartment, he decided he was hungry for home-made spaghetti.  About 4:00 he went to the kitchen and began assembling ingredients.  He peeled and chopped onions, put garlic through the press, washed and diced bell peppers.  He put the onions, garlic, and peppers into a skillet and added ground sirloin.  While that was browning, he opened canned diced tomatoes, poured off the liquid, and dumped them into a large saucepan along with a can of tomato sauce and a little water.  He had forgotten to get fresh mushrooms, so he opened a can, drained the contents, and added them to the pot.  Later he stirred in the meat mixture.  Finally a bay leaf, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and basil.  He sniffed appreciatively.  Yep, this is gonna be good.  When it was all simmering slowly, he put the lid on and went to turn on the television.  

The phone rang before he got there.

"Hello."

"Cedric!"

"Jay.  How was the football game?"

"CSU won.  It was a good game."

"Who'd they play?"

"You didn't know?"

"Would I have asked if I did?"

"You're testy.  You mad at me?"

"Oh, no.  I'm sorry.  Just the lawyer in me coming out."

"Well, Colby beat your alma mater.  But it was a close game."

"I'm glad you enjoyed it."

"Thanks.  But I've had enough girl talk to last me a while.  And, you know, it's really not a good idea to get too chummy with your co-workers.  I've heard more than enough gossip about the staff at Walgreen's."

"I'm sorry."

"No problem.  I'm calling because suppertime's coming up.  The restaurants in town will all be busy, what with the game and all.  But would you like to go have something to eat with me?"

"Nope."

"Oh.  I'm sorry!  Too much too soon, right?"

"Nothing like that, man.  But I've got spaghetti sauce simmering.  How about some of that on linguine plus a salad?"

"Oh, yeah."

"Then get your cute little ass up here!"

"Uh.  Oh!  Okay.  But I've gotta shower.  I'll be there in half an hour."

"Should I heat up the water for the pasta, or did you have something else in mind, what with you being all clean and shiny?"

He giggled.  "Let's eat first."

After they ended their call, Cedric decided a shower would be in order.  He'd just gotten dressed when the doorbell rang.


There was no trouble finding things to talk about over supper.  They started with their having grown up not far from each other and went on to high school, college, and grad school experiences.  Then Jay asked about Keesha, and when Cedric was finished, he commented on how cool it was that Cedric was an uncle.

Cedric agreed that he loved his nephew and niece.

"How about your sister?  Indi's her name, isn't it?"

"Yeah.  But she'd never get pregnant.  It would spoil her figure."

The one topic that was tacitly avoided was former lovers.  

When Cedric offered fresh pears and coffee for dessert, Jay said, "That sounds healthy, but I want dick for dessert."

"We can provide that.  How do you want it served?"

Jay held out his hand.  "Take me to your boudoir and I'll show you.

"Can we put the food away and load the dishwasher first?"

Pretending to pout, Jay said, "Oh, all right.  But let's hurry!"

When the chores were done, they went to the bedroom, where they disrobed quickly.  Cedric had already taken all the bedclothes off the bed except for the fitted bottom sheet, so there was nothing to hinder their falling onto the bed, where they began groping and humping each other.

Cedric thought he was going to explode from frottage, but Jay pushed on his shoulders.  "Not so fast.  I've been fantasizing about you doing me since I first saw you."

"No problem," Cedric said, grinning.  He opened the bedside drawer and took out a strip of condoms and a bottle of lube.

"Hold on!"

"What's with you?  First it's hurry up, now it's wait."

Jay rolled onto his stomach, pulled his knees up underneath his chest, thus sticking his butt in the air.

"I've always wondered what it would be like to be rimmed by a guy with a mustache.  Would you mind?"

Cedric slapped the proffered bottom.  "It will be my pleasure to take away your . . . what should we call it?  You're a face-hair-in-the-ass-crack virgin."

Jay chuckled.  Then, wiggling his butt, he said, "Doesn't matter what we call it.  Just do it, dammit!"

"Ohh, a bossy bottom!"

Cedric got on the bed behind his friend and, using both hands, pulled the cheeks apart, revealing the dark pucker, and went to work.

The walls in Casa Nielsen-Lynch were pretty well soundproofed, but Cedric worried the neighbors might hear Jay's shrieks.  Obviously he loved the new experience.  Oh, well, he thought, Adam and Blake won't mind.  But they were across the hall and probably wouldn't hear anything.  It was the people above and below he was worried about.  But then, they're probably all gay, so they'll understand.  Hopefully.

Jay proved to be not only enthusiastic but experienced.  He knew, for example, how to relax his anal ring on the in-stroke and tense them on the out-stroke to maximize Cedric's pleasure.  Damn! I've missed this, he thought.


After he'd had his release, Cedric rolled off of the smaller man and lay beside him, panting.  When he'd regained his normal breathing rate, he rolled Jay over onto his back and prepared to minister to his cock.  But he found it limp and, along with Jay's belly, smeared with cum.

"Wow!  I'm sorry.  I didn't know you'd come."

"I was making a lot of noise.  No way you could have known."

Cedric peeled off the condom and tied a knot in it.

"Would you like to have dessert now?  Or how about a shower?"

Jay chuckled.  "I hope you aren't obsessive about bathing as soon as you've had sex."

"Well, not obsessive, probably."

"Good.  Then hold me.  I'll get you sticky, so we'll want that shower after a while.  But not just yet.  Okay?"

"Okay"

Once they had their arms around each other, Cedric commented, "We'd better not go to sleep this way or we'll be really stuck together when we wake up."

"If I go to sleep, shake me, and we'll bathe."


When he sensed that Jay had drifted off, Cedric squeezed him.

"Huh?"

"Sorry, Jay.  Think we should have that shower now?"

"I'm sorry.  Was I asleep?"

"I think you were about to be."

"So what was your question?"

"Maybe we should wash the cum off of us."

"Oh, yeah.  I remember now."

So they had showered together, managing to finish erect and fired up.  

"Damn!" Cedric exclaimed.  "I didn't know I could get excited again so soon."

"It's not like you're an old man, Ced."

"I don't feel like an old man around you, dude."


They went to the kitchen, where instead of pears and coffee they had Oreos and milk.  When Cedric invited him to stay overnight, Jay accepted.

They woke up ready to go again, but since Jay admitted to being a bit tender, they exchanged blow jobs.  Cedric was glad they hadn't 69'd.  He'd always had trouble concentrating on giving his partner pleasure while he was being distracted by having his cock down the other guy's throat.

Afterward they took another shower and had breakfast.

Jay finished his coffee and set down the mug.  "So what do you have planned for today?"

"Not a thing."

"Are you sick of me, or can we do something together?"

Finishing his own coffee, Cedric picked up the mugs and put them in the dishwasher.

"It looks like a beautiful day.  And the trees are probably at the height of their color.  We should take a drive."

"How would you like to have lunch in Findlay?"

"Sure, why not?  But why Findlay?"

"One of the girls yesterday was going on about this great restaurant, The Bistro, on the main street.  She says it's fabulous."

"I could do with a Sunday drive and a fabulous lunch."

So they agreed that Jay would go back to his own place and that they'd meet in the garage at noon.


It turned out to be a pleasant afternoon.  Remembering Jay's interest, Cedric encouraged him to drive the Traverse.  They decided not to use I-75, which was the most direct route.  Instead, they drove west out of Colby and then turned south on a two-lane rural highway.

"Damn!" Jay exclaimed.  "This thing is huge compared to my Eclipse."

"It's not big as SUV's go.  But it would have been more fun to take the Eclipse.  I just thought since you were interested . . . ."

"I'm not complaining.  If we were driving through snow, I'd feel a lot more secure in something like this."

They went on a while in silence, Cedric allowing his friend to concentrate on driving.

There were colorful trees along the edges of the fields they passed and around farmhouses and barns, sometimes also lining driveways.

"This is pretty," Jay remarked.  "It looks like scenes from a calendar.  But something's missing."

"Yeah.  Hills.  It's so damned flat out here."

"You're right.  Cleveland's not in the mountains, but there's some . . . undulation . . . in the lay of the land."


They had no trouble finding the restaurant since it was on Main Street in the downtown area.  When they parked nearby and saw no other cars around, they began to worry.  And their worries were justified.  The Bistro was closed.

"Shit!" Jay said.  "We should have checked on line or called ahead.  The girls didn't say anything about their being closed on Sundays."

"Oh, well.  We enjoyed the drive, didn't we?  Let's just find someplace else."

A couple, obviously college students, came toward them on the sidewalk.

"Hey, guys," Cedric said, "where would be a good place to eat?"

The girl looked at her male friend, then back at Cedric.  "If you were planning to eat at the Bistro, you don't want fast food.  There's an even better restaurant a few blocks away, The Revolver, but they're closed on Sunday, too.  So I'm not sure what to tell you."

"Waldo's?" the guy suggested.

"I don't think so.  Honestly, your best bet is probably Applebee's."

Discouraged, they thanked the couple and went back to the car.

"So, what'll we do?"

"I'm hungry, man.  Let's find Applebee's."

"Shit!  If we wanted to eat at Applebee's, we could have done that in Colby."

"Or we could have gone to Adrian's if we wanted to eat really well.  But we've had a nice drive anyway."

They got in the car, found out from OnStar where the local Applebee's was, and drove there.  It wasn't a bad meal.  There were some new items on the menu.  Cedric had a spinach salad with shrimp that was good.  Jay, who seemed not to have to worry about calories, chose a pasta dish.

Cedric did the driving duties on the way home so Jay could enjoy the scenery, such as it was.  They took a different but equally circuitous route back to Colby, arriving about 3:00.

"Well," Jay said as they pulled into the parking garage, "that was a disappointment."

"Hey, the trees were pretty.  It beat lying around the apartment, didn't it?"

"Yes.  But mostly because of the company.  What are you going to do now?"

"I dunno.  Did you have something in mind?"

Jay grinned.  "My sitter isn't sore any more.  Why don't we fuck?"

"Banerjee, you're insatiable!"

"Probably not.  But why don't you keep trying to satiate me?"

~~~~~

When Cedric arrived at work the next morning, Ms. Bott looked him over critically.

"Mmm.  You're looking rather strung out, Mr. Jones.  Strenuous weekend?"

"You don't even want to know, Ms. B."

"I most certainly don't."

Was that a hint of a smile he saw on her face?


Later that day he heard the phone ring in the outer office.  He'd been working at his desk with the door open.  Ms. Bott answered it briefly.  Then his phone rang.  He picked it up.

"Mr. Jones, you have a call from Thomas Nielsen.  Are you available?"

Wondering why she didn't just raise her voice and tell him that instead of using the phone, he said, "Yes, I'll be happy to talk with him."

She probably never raises her voice.

He pressed the line 1 button and said, "Hello, Tom.  How are you?"

"Cedric, I'm very well, thanks.  I hope you don't mind my calling you at work.  I tried your apartment yesterday, but you must have been out."

"Sorry about that.  And I'm not with a client, so there's no reason why we can't talk.  How's Adrian?"

Tom chuckled.  "Insufferable, as usual.  But he's well.  And I'm actually calling for both of us."

"Oh?"

"Yes.  We want to issue an invitation."

Cedric felt like saying, "Whatever it is, I'll be glad to."  But instead he waited for Nielsen to continue.

"I don't know whether you've heard about our group of gay men.  We get together socially several times a year."

Aha!  The famous or infamous Colby Queers! "Yes, I believe someone mentioned them."

"I thought someone might have," Tom said, drily.  "We're having a get-together this Saturday evening at 8:00.  Adrian and I would like to introduce you to our friends.  Or at least to those whom you haven't already met.  You already know Tyrese and Digby, Adam and Blake.  Perhaps others."

"I'd love to meet the others.  But can you prepare me a little?  What's the dress?  Can I bring anything?"

"No need to bring anything.  Suit or jacket and tie are customary, though Digby sometimes flouts the convention."

Cedric chuckled.  "I can imagine."

"There will be drinks, of course.  And between them, Adrian and Albert will see that there's enough in the way of `heavy hors d'oeuvres' that you won't need any supper before you come.  It's not a sit-down buffet, but I promise you won't go away hungry."

"Sounds great, Tom.  I'll look forward to it.  Thanks for inviting me."

"Sorry about the lateness of the invitation.  It seems there was some question about when both Adrian and Albert could be away from the restaurant on a Saturday evening.  Oh, just so you'll know, you won't be the only neophyte.  Have you met Jeremy Banerjee?  He lives in our building.

"Yes, I know him."  Jeremy?  I thought his name was probably Vijay, like the golfer.  I'll have to ask about that.

"He was working weekends when we had our last affair.  How about Seth Newman?  He's a junior faculty member, I believe, at the University."

"No, I haven't met him."

"I think you'll find him an interesting fellow.  We'll be introducing the three of you, informally of course, to the others."

Cedric thanked Tom once again, and they ended their call.

~~~~~

One of the amenities of his building was a fairly well-equipped exercise room.  It had most of the popular machines plus a set of free weights. Cedric hadn't used it as often as he should have.  When he did, it was usually early in the morning, before breakfast.  And the place was generally deserted, though the two lesbians had been there once, and he'd worked out with Adam and Blake one morning.

He avoided the facility on weekends, figuring there would be a wait for the equipment.

On Wednesday afternoon, however, he felt logy after work and realized it had been much too long since he'd even worked up a sweat.  When he got home he changed into a wife beater, gym shorts, and sneakers and went back to the main floor where the room was located.  He worked alone for a while.  But as he was on the treadmill, someone came into the room.

It was a thirty-something guy, about 5'10'" with curly light brown hair and blue eyes.  He had a body that looked as if its owner fought a constant battle with fat.  And he looked tired.

Cedric smiled and nodded but kept on running, as was the protocol.  When he finished, since that was the last station he'd planned to visit, he mopped his face with his towel and looked for his neighbor.

Who was sitting astraddle of a bench, doing curls.  Cedric noticed that his arms and legs were covered by light brown hair.  Not a type he was normally attracted to, but this guy was cute.

He looked up to see Cedric watching him.  He put down the weight, stood, and walked the short distance to where Cedric was standing.

"Hello.  I don't think we've met, though I think I know who you are.  You're the lawyer, aren't you?"

Cedric grinned.  "Yeah, and the only black guy in the building, so I'm easy to figure out."

The other guy blushed.  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean . . ."  

"Hey, no problem.  I just know I stand out in some crowds.  But everyone here's been very welcoming.  So who are you and how have I missed you?"

Extending his hand, the stranger said, "I'm Sam Gruen.  And since I supposedly get Wednesday afternoons off, I try to work out."

As they shook hands, Cedric said, "If you are off on Wednesday afternoons, you could have been in here a lot earlier."

"I said `supposedly,' didn't I?  I didn't have office hours this afternoon, but I had to do rounds at Community General.  And one of my patients wasn't doing well, so I was delayed."

"Oh, you're a doctor?"

Gruen sighed.  "Yes."

"You don't like your job?"

"I love it.  There just aren't enough hours in the day.  JAMA arrived today, so I've got to spend the evening reading it.  And that's not light reading."

"I hear you.  Love those professional journals."

"Oh, sure.  You would know about them.  Gotta keep up, don't we?"

"'Fraid so.  But look, Dr. Gruen, I'll let you get back to your routines.  It's nice to meet you."

"Call me Sam, please.  And it's good to meet you, too, Cedric."


Later that evening Jay called.

"Hey, Cedric, let's get out of here."

"What did you have in mind?"

"I haven't been to Nellie's for a while.  Want to go ogle the pretty boys?"

His talk earlier with Sam had reminded him that the ABA Journal was lying unopened on his coffee table.  "Sure.  It sounds like a lot more fun than what I had planned."

A half hour later, Cedric was drinking a Sam Adams and Jay was drinking a Pepsi at Nellie's.  Both occasionally helped themselves to peanuts from the bowl on the table.

"So, Jeremy, how come you didn't tell me your real name?"

Jay looked puzzled for a moment and then smiled.  "How did you know?"

"Why?  It's not a big secret, is it?"

"No.  I've just always hated Jeremy.  So when I started to middle school I asked people to call me Jay."

"I think Jeremy's an elegant name."

Jay leaned forward, as if he were about to impart something confidential.  "Sounds a little gay, don't you think?"

Cedric laughed.  "But haven't you had to put up with people calling you Jay the Gay or something like that?"

Jay took a deep breath and expelled it.  "Uh huh.  That was the unforeseen consequence of my decision."

"You could have gone back to Jeremy when you went to college, right?"

"I thought about it.  But in college I wasn't taunted about being gay.  And I still like Jay better than Jeremy.  So, let's change the subject.  What's new with you?"

"Nothing much.  Met one of our neighbors in the workout room this afternoon."

"Who was that?"

"Dr. Sam Gruen."

"Oh, I know Dr. Sam.  We fill a lot of his prescriptions.  Did you think he was cute?"

"I suppose so.  Not really my type, but not bad.  Seemed like a nice guy, though."

"It's just as well he's not your type.  He's straight.  Or so the grapevine has it."

"What's his specialty?"

"Rumor has it he gives prostate massages to half the residents of this building.  He's a urologist."

"He's that popular, huh?"

"So I hear."

"But you wouldn't know from personal knowledge."

Jay managed an angelic look of innocence.  "I have no problem with my prostate."

They watched Nellie's clientele come and go as they chatted about other things, including the upcoming party on Saturday night.  Eventually they decided they had better relinquish their table since they weren't going to order more drinks.

Although the lights of the city obscured the stars, there was no hiding the bright moon overhead.  

"It'll probably frost tomorrow," Cedric observed.

"You're such a farmer!"

"Farmer?  How could anyone not know that?  You especially.  You're supposed to be the scientific one."

"There were no courses in meteorology in pharm school."

They walked along for a few minutes.  Cedric was enjoying the crisp night.

Jay nudged him.  "So, my place or yours?"

"Tonight?  We don't usually . . . ."

"I know we've only made love on the weekend so far, but I thought maybe tonight we could."

"Make love?"  I'd have just called it what it is:  sex.

TBC

If you want to email me about this chapter, please do so at t.mead76@yahoo.com .  Be sure to put the name of the story in the subject line so I'll know it isn't spam.  Thanks.  --Tim